Last summer I spent a few weeks in Croatia. Whilst I was there, I visited some fantastic places. The series gives a glimpse into this trip, along with some tips, which will hopefully encourage you to travel.
Following our previous article which focussed on the main attractions of Rijeka, let’s take a look at what visitors can experience in the surroundings of Rijeka.
By Julia Mayer / 14.10.2019
Kastav lies northwest of Rijeka and offers a fantastic view over the coast of Kvarner bay.
The old part of the city and its church are particularly recommended. However, each building has its own story to tell, so that every one of them is worth a quick visit.
There are three different hiking paths that start near the ruins behind the church. Hiking lovers will, therefore, have the possibility to fulfil their passion. These three excursions have different lengths and are mostly in the shade. They allow for everyone’s hiking style and can be undertaken even after visiting Kastav.
This place, in the southwest of Rijeka, invites visitors to relax in its picturesque landscape. In addition to the wonderful houses, the church is definitely worth a visit. You will also have a fantastic view over Rijeka and the whole coast on the northern Adriatic.
Učka Natural Park
After visiting Veprinac, you may want to go to the Učka natural park nearby. Thanks to its geological characteristics, this park represents one of the most important areas for biological variety in Europe. You can also do some fantastic excursions here. For example, hikers can walk to the waterfalls. A highlight would be arriving at the observation tower named “Vojak”. The tower, situated at 1401 metres, is the highest point of the natural park and offers breathtaking 360° panoramic views. In clear weather, you can even see the Alps and Italy.
In the 19th century, this seaside location was a popular health resort, where the Habsburg monarchy used to spend their time in the winter. The Franz Joseph promenade is a must-see here. This promenade, which runs for 12 kilometres along the coast leading directly to the sea, offers wonderful places to relax and lead visitors around the main attractions at Opatija, such as the famous “Maiden with the Seagull” statue and the Villa Angiolina with its park.
From Opatija, you can walk along the seaside promenade to Ika. This little place on the coast is a perfect place to swim in the sea. The submarine landscape of this region is also quite special, and snorkeling is an ideal of spending your time here. Unlike the neighbouring town of Ičići, Ika is quieter and less touristy, which makes it a secret place – at least so far – to relax at the seaside.
Lovran is located south of Ika. This dynamic seaside area is not only known as being the emblem of the city, but is also known for its luxurious bay-leaf bushes you will find along the coasts. The old town and the harbour are surely worth a visit, together with the lovely little cafés and their Italian flair.
With this being said, the western side of Rijeka is not the only interesting place. In the east of Rijeka, there are gorgeous beaches as well. The biggest of them is the Kostrena beach, which offers a promenade along the coast, like the ones in the west of Rijeka, from where you can look for a good place to swim.
If you plan a trip to Rijeka, you cannot miss this town, which extends around the picturesque harbour in a fjord-like form. If you did not think you were in Croatia, you would think you were in Italy. This is perhaps due to Bakar’s particular flair, as well as its serenity which emanates from the landscape and the people. The opposite of the vibrant urban life of Rijeka, it is, nevertheless, worth experiencing.
And this is just a handful of the places worth seeing around Rijeka. There are plenty of other extraordinary places, bays, streets, bridges, forest tracks, mountains etc. that, as a visitor, you will discover and experience in your own special way.